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J Clin Oncol. 2017 Jun 20;35(18):2053-2061. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2016.71.9716. Epub 2017 May 4.

Economic Burden of Chronic Conditions Among Survivors of Cancer in the United States.

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Gery P. Guy Jr, Donatus U. Ekwueme, Sun Hee Rim, Rui Li, and Lisa C. Richardson, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA; and K. Robin Yabroff, US Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, DC.


Purpose The prevalence of cancer survivorship and chronic health conditions is increasing. Limited information exists on the economic burden of chronic conditions among survivors of cancer. This study examines the prevalence and economic effect of chronic conditions among survivors of cancer. Methods Using the 2008 to 2013 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, we present nationally representative estimates of the prevalence of chronic conditions (heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, emphysema, high cholesterol, diabetes, arthritis, and asthma) and multiple chronic conditions (MCCs) and the incremental annual health care use, medical expenditures, and lost productivity for survivors of cancer attributed to individual chronic conditions and MCCs. Incremental use, expenditures, and lost productivity were evaluated with multivariable regression. Results Survivors of cancer were more likely to have chronic conditions and MCCs compared with adults without a history of cancer. The presence of chronic conditions among survivors of cancer was associated with substantially higher annual medical expenditures, especially for heart disease ($4,595; 95% CI, $3,262 to $5,927) and stroke ($3,843; 95% CI, $1,983 to $5,704). The presence of four or more chronic conditions was associated with increased annual expenditures of $10,280 (95% CI, $7,435 to $13,125) per survivor of cancer. Annual lost productivity was higher among survivors of cancer with other chronic conditions, especially stroke ($4,325; 95% CI, $2,687 to $5,964), and arthritis ($3,534; 95% CI, $2,475 to $4,593). Having four or more chronic conditions was associated with increased annual lost productivity of $9,099 (95% CI, $7,224 to $10,973) per survivor of cancer. The economic impact of chronic conditions was similar among survivors of cancer and individuals without a history of cancer. Conclusion These results highlight the importance of ensuring access to lifelong personalized screening, surveillance, and chronic disease management to help manage chronic conditions, reduce disruptions in employment, and reduce medical expenditures among survivors of cancer.

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